Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother

Nov
21
2014

Imperfect Perfection: How This Modern Mom Took it Back

...aka Gwyneth Paltrow is the Mythical unicorn of motherhood

Perfect Mom

The other day a friend posted a New York Post article on her Facebook page with the headline, Modern moms looking for perfection in all the wrong places.

Naturally, it caught my eye.

These so-called "perfect moms," where are they? I can’t say I know any.

Of my parent friends, only a meager handful seem to be striving for Gwyneth Paltrow-inspired perfection, with carefully curated birthday parties, the scent of fresh baked goods wafting through the kitchens — 100 per cent organic, of course — and the selfless giving of all their time to their children.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Human or Hypocrite?

Then there are the rest of us — the perfectly imperfect moms.

And we, I think, are fine with that.

Sure, we drool over the cool craft projects some super moms manage to pull off with their kids — which are then beautifully staged for ‘impromptu’ Pinterest photoshoots — but we also know that in our version of craft day, children end up completely covered in glue goo and we're left scrubbing random art-project splatters from the cupboards and floor. 

And that is okay, too. 

Karol Markowicz writes in the NY Post piece, “Domestic perfection is in, and no one has been harder hit than moms.”

While I empathize with what Markowicz is saying and with the pressure some moms feel, I proudly remain the antithesis of domestic perfection.

Stop Concentrating On Being Perfect and Start Concentrating On Being Kind: It's Better For Your Health 

Let me give you a quick snapshot here:

— At this very moment there are dust bunnies bigger than the family dog floating by my feet.

— The other night I baked a big batch of super chocolaty (non-organic) cookies, which spread out across the pan like a living monster and turned into one giant cookie. Then the scary mega-cookie had to be scraped off the tray because a certain ‘domestic goddess’ didn’t know that using butter to grease a pan is a no-no.

— The article makes mention of the film Frozen, which I had to Google because I have no clue what all the hoopla is about. And now that I’ve learned that Frozen is a musical, there is no way in hell I am introducing it to my toddler. Nothing makes me want to jab my ears with sharp objects more than musicals.

— Meanwhile, simple kiddie parties (think cheese pizza and store-bought cakes) are apparently passé. Too bad, I say. For our son's second birthday party, we picked him up a yummy but inexpensive Loblaws cake (which was devoured) and piles of pre-made snacks and dips that went like hotcakes. Oh, and the theme of the party was, let me see, "simplicity. Yeah, that’s it.

Truthfully, I would give anything for my son, but I do not sacrifice every piece of myself to do so.

My son is loved and listened to and given more hugs and kisses than he knows what to do with. He is spoiled with great books, spontaneous dance parties, tickle fests, and quality time.

And yet, I love to work, exercise, and see my friends. I savor alone time as well as quiet time with my husband, and I continue to nurture my own passions.

To me, aiming for perfection sounds stressful and exhausting.

Instead, my test for success comes down to some pretty basic questions:

Is my son happy and healthy? And are my husband and I happy and healthy?

If the answer is yes, and everything is good in our little corner of the world, then that’s quite enough for me.

I am not selfish or selfless — I am just a happily imperfect mom striving for balance. 

Image Source: WikiCommons

Want to read more by Tanya Enberg? Try these! What to do when you need to talk to your mom; 10 signs motherhood has made you lose your mojo and Five Reasons to leave your kids at home on your next trip